When Your Achilles Tendon Tears or Ruptures
If you watched the Carolina Panthers take on the Miami Dolphins Saturday night, you may have seen Frank Alexander tear his Achilles tendon and end the season before it even started.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and is the thick band behind your ankle and lower leg. It runs from your calf muscle to the calcaneus, or the heel bone, where it attaches.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer from an Achilles tendon tear or rupture. These injuries often occur in men between 30-50 years of age, but can also occur in anyone.
There are numerous causes for Achilles tendon tears and ruptures. Patients will oftentimes have symptoms or be treated for Achilles tendonitis, or inflammation and pain within the tendon. Over time if tendonitis persists, it can lead to weakening of the tendon, causing a tear or rupture. Other causes include overuse, sudden increase in exercise, flatfoot resulting in abnormal increase in muscle strain, or direct injury to the tendon.
Some symptoms of Achilles tendon tears and/or rupture include pain, swelling, or bruising to the back of the leg, difficulty moving your ankle up and down, difficulty walking, an audible “pop” at time of injury, or the feeling of being kicked in the back of the leg.
Once your podiatrist has determined that you have an Achilles tendon tear or rupture, they may preform an MRI to further evaluate the tendon. X-Rays are often preformed to rule out other injuries.
Various treatments are available to help treat a tear or rupture. Casting or immobilization is often necessary and surgery may be needed if the tendon is completely ruptured. It is important to see a podiatrist to determine what treatment is best for you. Click here to request an appointment with one of our specialists.
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